During my three last visits to Malta, my base has been in or around Sliema. This time was different, but that doesn’t mean that we skipped the place entirely. Little A and I took a short trip to Sliema also this time. Luckily it was easy to combine with a visit to Valletta and Saint Julian’s. After exploring the playground in Marsascala and the fort in Birgu during our first three days on Malta, our fourth day did once more include several playgrounds. There was, however, some time to meet with local friends.
Valletta – Enjoying the Historical Streets
Valletta is probably one of the most spectacular cities in Europe. The feeling when entering through its gates is not possible to describe, but history is in each and every wall and stone of the Maltese capital. After a short bus ride from Marsascala, Little A and I found ourselves viewing the large Triton Fountain located right next to the bus terminal. The square where it is located is huge, all in the same brownish stone. The road from the square leads across the moat and through the city walls. Here we had the small narrow streets that were at this time still filled with people. The coronavirus and its pandemic had not yet emptied the streets of Malta.
Walking up and down the streets was of course enjoyable for me, but Little A started to get bored as we were unable to find any playground in the capital. Instead, we walked down towards the small ferry stop at its western shores to head to safer hunting grounds when it comes to playgrounds. It was time to take the ferry across the bay to Sliema.
Sliema – Enjoying the Sunshine at the Playgrounds
Sliema is located at the tip of the peninsula on the other side of the bay from Valletta. The ferry ride across does offer a great view of Valletta, with the dome of the cathedral as the most striking landmark. The small ferry drops you of right at the strand walk that goes all along Sliemas and connects with the neighboring municipalities. After a short lunch stop and a nap for Little A, we were walking around the peninsula. Passing by the Point Shopping Mall and later ending up on the northern shores of Sleima. This is where one of the larger playgrounds is located.
The larger playground is modern and well kept. Split up into several sections it is easy to keep an eye on your kid – as long as he or she stays within the section. It is a total of six sections, but not all are playgrounds. This is also one of only a few areas of Sliema that is green.
A bit further along the waterfront walk, there is yet one more playground. It might be colorful, but it has seen better days. Several parts were damaged and Little A was just allowed to try a few of its attractions due to the feeling that many of them were unsafe.
With the sun shining, the walk from Tigné Point to St Julian’s Bay along the waterfront is really nice. It is first when entering Saint Julian’s that the feeling of Malta changes.
Saint Julian’s – Meeting with Friends
With Sliema and most of Malta being quite calm and easy to walk around, Saint Julian’s comes as a shocking contradiction. When you enter Saint Julian’s three major things change – the people, the streets, and the traffic.
This part of Malta is so much more chaotic than the rest of the country. There are more people, more cars, smaller walking paths. The atmosphere is different for sure. We were here for a reason, to meet two friends for dinner. Luckily it was right at the edge of Saint Julian’s towards Sliema. Little A got her pasta long before they arrived, but she was at least happy while the rest of us spent a few hours talking.